James Harden may be the biggest enigma in NBA history. I mean, the guy has averaged 35 points per game over the last two seasons, yet have you ever heard anyone tell you he’s their favorite player?
I'm not talking about Daryl Morey, he doesn't count. Though the Rockets GM did just say he feels he has let Harden down with the talent around him.
Now, of course, Morey has also previously said Harden is a better scorer than Michael Jordan, causing many to instinctively flail like Harden does when looking for a call. Personally, I’m genuinely curious what The Beard’s eventual place will be in basketball lore. Because he’s undeniably a virtuoso offensively, individually capable of running a prolific team.
But at the same time, his playing style is endlessly criticized, and cherry picked clips of his defense have been YouTubed into oblivion.
I firmly believe rings aren’t everything, but you’d be hard pressed to find a player who could use one more than Harden. And this restarted season may be the best opportunity he ever gets. Fresh legs could benefit him and a smaller Rockets squad more than any other team when it comes to the postseason. And his teammate Russell Westbrook also has a chip on his shoulder when it comes to winning a championship.
Until that happens however, despite undeniably being an all time great player, it seems the only lists James Harden will ever be atop are scoring and spreadsheets released by the Houston Rockets.